Feb 06, 2021
By Nicole Bitette
It took more than a dozen shoots in 3 countries to get nearly 40 characters and talent from across the ViacomCBS portfolio to the top of Paramount Mountain.
In Making It Work, creatives and decision-makers from across ViacomCBS describe how they turned an idea into a reality. In this installment, we spoke to Sarah LaBrache, SVP of creative marketing for ViacomCBS Digital, and Dan Kelly, group creative director at creative agency Droga5, about how they were able to produce and create numerous Paramount+ spots leading up to the “Sweet Victory” Super Bowl commercial to tout the service. They spoke about the vision behind the Paramount Mountain expedition and all the detours along the way. Plus, how they were able to do it all under strict COVID-19 production restrictions.
"It was probably too ambitious and probably shouldn’t have been possible. But we made it happen."
Group Creative Director, Droga5
We also had to get creative in the way we incorporated SpongeBob and Bikini Bottom, which can be seen in the “Sweet Victory” spot that debuted at the Super Bowl.
LaBrache: It was challenging putting together that many shoots and getting the logistics to work within quarantine and travel restrictions. Our in-house creative leads worked tirelessly with our Executive Producer and talent coordinators to pull this off. With the Covid factor, each shoot was touch-and-go until it actually happened. When Norah O’Donnell was on the runway to fly from D.C. to New York to film, her plane encountered a technical issue and wouldn’t start. We had to cancel that shoot. Luckily we had one shoot remaining in Miami for DJ Khaled. We were grateful Nora was willing to fly to Miami to film with us there before we wrapped.
Another challenge was getting the technical pieces in place so the camera moves and lighting matched from set to set and person to person. To do that on multiple stages and in different cities was no small feat.
It was a new experience for a big part of the team to go after something this technical and be geographically removed from it all. Only a limited number of people were allowed on set. I had one person from my team on the ground, but the rest of us were watching remotely over Zoom and via QTAKE software. There was a group of us that just lived on Zoom for a month.
"All Rise" star Simone Missick climbing Paramount Mountain.
Anson Mount of "Star Trek: Discovery."
Former football player and NFL coach Bill Cowher.
CBS "All Rise" star Simone Missick and one of the "Crank Yanker" puppets.